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UN Women: Programme Specialist, Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-29

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UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

Women and girls are the worst affected by emergencies and crises while they are also the main caregivers and among the first responders, holding their families and communities together. Providing targeted livelihood and protection support to women in humanitarian settings has a direct effect on the wellbeing and recovery prospects of their families and communities. Women’s active participation in economic life makes peacebuilding and recovery efforts more sustainable. Despite crises becoming more protracted, reaching to a staggering 17 to 25 years, humanitarian aid must aim at addressing the long-term problems along a humanitarian /development continuum. However, current assessments show persistent gender bias in which women’s needs and issues are neglected and systematically underfunded. The lack of a gender-responsive approach to humanitarian/crisis response not only overlooks the distinct needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls but presumes that women and men benefit equally from humanitarian action and recovery. By underpinning humanitarian and recovery strategic planning and programming with gender analysis based on sex and age disaggregated data, the needs and vulnerabilities of all the women, men, girls and boys of crisis affected populations can be adequately addressed.

To address this need, UN Women is expanding and strengthening its humanitarian action, crisis prevention and response capacities through technical support to regional and country offices in humanitarian contexts. One of UN Women’s frameworks for crisis response is the Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in crisis response Flagship Program (LEAP), a Flagship programme designed to ensure that women and girls affected by crisis lead, participate In, and benefit from relief and response efforts. The Flagship Programme which is reflected as output area of the UN Women strategic plan has the following outcome areas:

  1. Humanitarian response planning, frameworks and programming are gender inclusive and responsive.
  2. Protection and economic opportunities are increased for women affected by sudden onset emergencies, including those displaced and living in temporary shelters and host communities.
  3. Positive coping mechanisms and sustainable livelihoods are promoted for marginalized women and girls affected by protracted and slow onset crises.

The LEAP Flagship Programme is implemented in a number of countries and the Peace, Security and Humanitarian Section provides technical support to Country Offices along four service lines for its implementation: i) policy and program support, ii) building knowledge and capacities, iii)  partnership building and support and  iv)  deployment of rapid response to countries.

Reporting to the Head, Humanitarian Normative and Coordination Action, the Programme Specialist is responsible for the management and substantive coordination of LEAP Programme in all implementing countries. He/she will be responsible for day-to-day management, implementation and effectiveness of the LEAP Programme. In particular, he/she is responsible for the monitoring and review of the programme portfolio, workplans and budget, for preparing reports as required by donor and UN Women management, and to mobilize resources as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide programme development advisory services related to Humanitarian and Crisis Response:

  • Oversee and manage the design and formulation of programme proposals and initiatives using LEAP framework.
  • Lead the provision of technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes globally and to country programmes.  
  • Identify programmatic areas for support and interventions within the LEAP framework.
  • Provide technical expertise and develop capacity and tools on gender analysis to inform multi-sectoral and multi/country humanitarian/crisis response planning and programming.
  • Provide technical support to  development of country strategy documents, programme/ project proposals, briefs and other documents related to LEAP examining the links and potential synergies with other UN Women programmatic frameworks on humanitarian assistance and crisis response, including Second Chance Education (SCE) and UN Women’s programmatic portfolio on Women, Peace and Security.  
  • Organize periodic consultations with UN Women Regional and Country Offices and other key stakeholders, including women leaders, human rights experts and UN partners to gather inputs on programme design, as necessary.

Provide technical and programme management support to the regional and country implementation and management of the LEAP programmes:

  • Provide programmatic and operational support to Country Offices to design and operationalize the LEAP in Crisis Response FPI and provide implementation support for gender responsive Crisis Preparedness, Prevention and Response programmatic interventions, including knowledge management and building.
  • Review and provide quality assurance to the submission of narrative reports as required.
  • Provide guidance to Country Offices on Results Based Management tools and performance indicators in relation to LEAP implementation.
  • Facilitate the organization of Country Project Steering Committee, project review and/or evaluation meetings as required.

Oversee technical assistance and capacity development to partners and UN Women offices:

  • Build, manage, and expand relationships with partners to support implementation and expansion of the LEAP related programming.
  • Serve as an expert resource to partners, Regional and Country Offices and other UN agencies.
  • Implement and oversee capacity building opportunities and initiatives.
  • Conduct analysis and research of the situation in the regions, and prepare substantive inputs to support country offices to input into briefing notes and other policy documents.
  • Provide internal clients with advanced technical assistance, training and capacity development initiatives, including on the development of Annual Work Plans, Strategic Notes and Annual Reports on UN Women’s work on humanitarian response and crisis response.

Manage the monitoring and reporting of the programme at global level:

  • Manage the process of monitoring programme implementation using results-based management tools, including UN Women Results Management System.
  • Provide technical support to Country Offices on the finalization of LEAP related progress reports.
  • Draft UN Women internal quarterly reports and donor reports, focusing on results, outputs and outcomes.

Build partnerships and provide support in developing resource mobilization strategies:

  • Identify strategic partnerships and resource mobilization strategies.
  • Provide input to the organization of donor roundtables and discussions on partnerships around LEAP implementation and upscaling.
  • Analyze and research information on donors, draft substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost sharing.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with relevant UN Women Sections to leverage innovation effectively in support of the FPI implementation.

Manage UN inter-agency coordination to achieve a coherent and aligned LEAP FPI implementation:

  • Strengthen the LEAP model and Theory of Change as a framework for women’s recovery in crisis within UN coordination mechanisms.
  • Provide substantive technical support on inter-agency coordination related activities and opportunities for joint programming by attending meetings, events, and participating in relevant groups and committees.
  • Provide technical input to partnership development with other UN agencies on joint programming around LEAP objectives and priorities.
  • Coordinate with other UN agencies, development partners and NGOs to ensure programme implementation is harmonized and aligned with UN Women global corporate priorities.

Provide technical support to advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts:

  • Represent UN Women as required, in meetings and policy dialogues, including inter/agency coordination mechanisms on issues related to gender responsive humanitarian planning and assistance.
  • Provide technical support in the implementation of  UN Women overall advocacy strategies, communication and visibility plans to continue to build evidence for gender in humanitarian action using the LEAP framework
  • Lead the development of knowledge management strategies/methodologies and products on LEAP FPI implementation and upscaling.

Key Performance Indicators: 

  • Timely and quality programme strategies and contributions;
  • Timeliness and quality of programme delivery;
  • Partners and internal clients provide positive feedback on advisory and technical services;
  • Quality reports and timely submission;
  • Quality of advocacy, communication and knowledge management initiatives and products;
  • New partnerships developed in support of resource mobilization objectives;
  • Strong relationships with donors, partners and other stakeholders.


Core values:

  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for Diversity.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Effective Communication;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example.

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Values and Competencies Framework:

Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills;
  • Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them;
  • Excellent knowledge of Results Based Management;
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making;
  • Ability to lead formulation of strategies and their implementation;
  • Excellent networking, communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to negotiate and interact with donors, identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising;
  • Successful track record in promoting women’s human rights and gender equality in professional capacity;
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with high-level decision-makers and develop productive partnerships.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in design, planning and implementation of humanitarian/ development projects;
  • Experience with UN processes, including those related to women’s empowerment and gender equality, coordination and joint programming is considered an asset;
  • Extensive advisory and capacity building experience is considered an asset;
  • Experience in coordinating and liaising with government agencies and/or donors is considered an asset;
  • Experience in leading/managing a team is considered an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of another official language of the UN system is an asset.


All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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